I got into a fight yesterday.
It’s one of those ‘he said/she said’ stories. I know that in telling it I’ll probably end up conveying my own pettiness rather than any sense of the… the… injustice I face everyday in this world. However, I need to vent.
It happened at the launderette. It was a stinking hot day and I had a double load of stinkies that needed washing. It could not be delayed any longer. So I hefted my laundry-bag onto my back turtle-style and headed off to my not-so-beautiful launderette.
At the launderette I loaded up two washing machines but then realized I only had enough money and detergent for one load. So I set one machine in motion and jogged home to get some money. I grabbed a ten dollar note and returned, hot and stinky myself, to the launderette.
There is a lady who works at the launderette. It’s her job to clean the lint filters, put ‘Out of Order’ signs on the machines and make sure no one walks out of the place with a dryer. Although, all I’ve ever seen her do is read trashy magazines and chat to her twenty-something daughter who hangs out there. I shall call this lady Bleach.
I approached Bleach, waited for her to finish talking to her daughter, and asked her if she could give me ten single dollars in exchange for my single $10.
Bleach got out a THICK wad of singles from her pocket, looked at the money, and said to me, ‘No change.’
I thought we were having a problem with accent-translation so I repeated my request and pointed to the money in her hand.
The lady repeated, ‘No change.’
Her daughter added, ‘You gotta go upstairs for change. Upstairs!’
I assumed there must be a ‘no change’ policy in the launderette. This didn’t make much sense, but I tried a different approach instead, ‘Okay, can I buy a box of Tide then please?’
‘Oh, you want Tide?’ Bleach said like it was all a big misunderstanding, ‘Sure!’
As she went into the backroom to get the Tide another woman came into the launderette. Bleach came out of the backroom and gave me my Tide, and then turned to the new woman. This new woman said ‘hello’ and gave Bleach a twenty-dollar note. Bleach then proceeded to count out twenty single dollars in exchange for the single $20. Right in front of me!
When she was finished with the new woman Bleach turned to me and said, ‘Tide is 75cents.’
I slid my $10 note across the counter to her.
Bleach slid it back, ‘No change. The Tide only costs 75 cents.’
Her daughter jumped in again, ‘You have to go upstairs for change! It’s only 75 cents! Just go upstairs!’ She was acting like I was picking on her poor mama.
‘But you have change. I can see it!’ I felt totally confused and frustrated, and I know my voice was rising.
‘Just go upstairs!’ The daughter yelled at me.
I couldn’t believe I was being yelled out over this stupid issue. I was dumbstruck. I stared at the daughter for a moment, trying to find words to express how absurd I thought the situation was. I had no words.
I would have liked to huff out of the launderette, not giving them my business, never to return again. However, I already had a load of washing in the machine. I couldn’t abandon it.
‘Fine,’ I said as patronizingly as I could manage. I went upstairs to the Lenny’s
I went back downstairs to pay for my Tide and gave Bleach $5.
She looked REALLY pissed that I had come back with a $5 note rather than singles.
However, she got out her FAT WAD of money and counted me out my change.
At this stage I blew a
‘You have plenty of change. Look at it! Who is it for? Your friends? That’s just so ridiculous you made me go upstairs. Ridiculous! Ri-dic-u-LOUS!’
The daughter looked like she wanted to murder me, however she bit her tongue.
I went and put the rest of my washing in a machine, my hands were trembling. No further incidents occurred.
It seems to me people in
Dunno. I just wanted some change.